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What is the 'Fun Criterion'?

Started by droqen, April 12, 2022, 11:39:42 AM

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David Deutsch discusses explicit and inexplicit [ideas/theories/thoughts/feelings]. (We'll call them ideas.)


Quote[Inexplicit ideas] affect you via your feelings [..] your mood [..] things that can't be easily stated in words.

[..] You think you want to go down to the post office, and your unconscious theory knows very well that it's a long way away, but your conscious theory thinks it's just round the corner, and you feel a reluctance to go. And that reluctance is one of these things. It's a feeling, it's a mood [..] So there's a conflict. How do you know there's a conflict? Well, you have a mood.

[..] Suppose [..] you're going to the post office, and suddenly a nameless dread comes over you.

David describes some inexplicit ideas and how they feel.


QuoteA common criterion is to try to disregard everything but your explicit theories.

[..] "This is beginning to feel bad, but I have worked out, or my self-help book says [..] NO PAIN, NO GAIN, and so ignore the [psychological pain], just do the [..] thing designated by your explicit theory.

[..] And that's just a mechanical criterion for choosing between theories, and therefore is irrational. Theories have to be judged by content, not where they came from or any attributes of theirs that aren't content.

QuoteAnother theory, kind of opposite of that theory, is what you might call the 'romantic stance' which is to say, explicit ideas are just conventional decoration, they're not really human, they don't really mean anything, what's really important is feelings. And so what you do if you adopt that idea is you try to reach into your feelings and follow them. Now [..] first of all, it's irrational, because it's just like the other theory of following your explicit theories. It's just choosing between theories according to an irrelevant criterion.

Lulie Tannett: Why is it irrelevant?

[..] It doesn't look at the content. It only looks at the type of theory.


I think David makes an error here though.

QuoteAs soon as you are instructing your legs to move in one direction rather than another [..] as soon as you've deliberated and caused your legs to do one thing rather than another, you have an explicit theory.

Lulie: You can do deliberation by intuition.

Okay, well, at the very least it's very close to the borderline of explicit, because if someone asks you, what have you decided to do, you'll say "I've decided to turn round."

Because earlier (close to the beginning of the video, starting at 1:25) he says...

Quoteinexplicit ideas [..] can't be expressed in language like, for example, when you're playing tennis and the ball is heading towards you and you're thinking "oh, it's going to go out now, no it isn't, I'd better run for it," that kind of thing. The words "it's going to go out now" do not appear anywhere in your mind while you're doing that, and yet, it is knowledge that you're creating. You're creating a theory about where the ball's going to strike.

Perhaps this is just a bad-ish example, because I do understand what he's talking about. I'm just not so sure about the legs thing being particularly more explicit than the tennis thing. If the turning around thing is borderline explicit, the tennis thing seems like a bad example of what an inexplicit idea is (though it may be a good example of what a borderline explicit inexplicit ideas is).


Explicit, inexplicit, and unconscious ideas.